Roots Report: Help Animals Musically

Okee dokee folks… You may already know that I am a HUGE animal person. A couple of years ago I wrote about the fledgling that I found and had to babysit through the night to keep it alive. The happy ending of that story is it survived the night and in the morning I turned that little chick over to a volunteer from Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island (WRARI). Those folks help thousands of critters annually. They are a mostly volunteer organization that relies on public support to operate. The number of animals that they care for each year has been steadily rising. The increase reflects a greater demand for their services and shows that Rhode Islanders are more sensitive than ever to the needs of native wildlife. WRARI is a 501c(3) non-profit organization that provides professional care for injured, orphaned or sick wildlife in Rhode Island and is the only organization licensed to rehabilitate the state’s wildlife.

So, besides personal reasons, you may wonder why I am including this in my column. Well, every year I attend an event called Wildstock at Jacky’s Galaxy in Bristol. I look forward to this show not only because it is fundraiser for  Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island, but also because it is a fun event with great MUSIC. See, you knew there had to be a musical connection! This year the Thirteenth Annual Halloween Wildstock Benefit Concert will again take place at Jacky’s Galaxie on Saturday, October 29. Musical entertainment will be provided by Trinity, Rendition, Repercussions, Band of Brothers and Crushed Velvet. The music is primarily cover tunes, but these bands do a wonderful job with the music. Band of Brothers and the Repercussions play mostly ’60s and ’70s rock and pop, Crushed Velvet leans more toward the heavier rock side of ’70s rock, and Trinty and Rendition perform more of the acoustic music from the ’60s. There is a lot of cross membership in these bands and some of the musicians will be doing double duty for the cause. Besides the music, there will be an Asian food buffet as well as desserts! If that isn’t enough, there will be a raffle with prizes. To purchase advance tickets, call Kristin Fletcher at 401-465-2460 or e-mail Did I mention that dressing in a Halloween costume is optional but encouraged? For more info, squirrel on over to

OK, I know that included a bit about this venue in the last issue, but I want to again as I am really hoping that this venue gets off the ground and keeps going. It is just a stone’s throw from me! There isn’t much music up here in Northern RI!


On Friday, October 28, The Purple Cat presents Downtown Live. This time around it features award-winning songwriter and vocalist Ryan Montbleau. As a touring bandleader and solo act, Montbleau has developed a deep bond to a fan-base that stretches from coast to coast. His latest release, Stages: Volume III, celebrates 18 career-spanning Montbleau tunes recorded live and solo, acoustic over a three-night run at Club Passim in Cambridge. He has found a home in the jam band world as much as the folk world throughout his career, able to draw the listener in as well as he can shake a room. The Purple Cat Vineyard & Winery is located at 11 Money Hill Road in Chepachet — just past the blinking light where Route 44 turns and Route 102 begins. The venue is an intimate performance space with seating arrangements that include theater style, cabaret style and standing room settings. Beer and wine will be available throughout the night and food is available prior to the show at Philanthropy Tea & Coffee Co. on the premises of The Purple Cat. For more, cork over to

Back when I was in college, I was an art student and spent a lot of time painting. Often the music of choice to accompany my painting was the instrumental music from the Windham Hill catalog. William Ackerman, Michael Hedges and George Winston were my favorites. The instrumental music was peaceful and was a great soundtrack to lay paint on canvas. When I graduated, I stopped painting and pretty much stopped listening to instrumental music. That doesn’t mean that I like it any less. It is beautiful to sit and listen to. It is still peaceful. One of the artists that used to play on that old, paint-stained cassette player will be performing at the Narrows Center for the Arts on Tuesday, October 25. George Winston is one of the most recognized solo pianists in the world and since 1972 has released 13 solo piano albums including the Grammy Award-winning Forest. Other titles include: Autumn, the beloved December; Winter Into Spring, Summer; Linus & Lucy — The Music of Vince Guaraldi; and Plains, which was inspired by his Eastern Montana upbringing. He also recorded the solo piano soundtrack for the children’s story The Velveteen Rabbit, narrated by Meryl Streep. He is currently putting the finishing touches on two new full-length recordings, Bay Of Gold — The Music of Vince Guaraldi and Spring Carousel. Winston’s appearance in Fall River will feature his WINTER SHOW, which will include melodic fall and winter type songs, some of Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts pieces, pieces inspired by the New Orleans piano and the stride piano traditions, and songs from his upcoming releases. George primarily performs three styles of music: melodic folk piano, New Orleans R&B piano and stride piano. He also incorporates a few pieces on solo guitar and solo harmonica into his live performances. Since 1986, Winston has been raising money for food banks and service organizations and will continue to do so by working with a local food bank in every tour market to hold a canned food drive at the show and also by donating 100% of proceeds from the sale of his merchandise to the organization. The food bank for this show is The Greater Fall River Food Pantry. Please bring canned goods to donate. For more, etude to

Down at Sandywoods in Tiverton, Alan Reid of the Battlefield Band and Rob Van Sante will present a show rooted in the music of Scotland on Friday, October 28. Tight harmonies accompanied by arrangements on piano, guitars and accordion are topped by an engaging delivery peppered with dry humor and pithy anecdotes. Their latest album, Rough Diamonds, is currently what they are showcasing. The duo also has a special multimedia show based on their third CD, The Adventures of John Paul Jones, which is a blend of song, narration and slides. A musical drama version was premiered at the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival in 2012 and performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 2013. Alan Reid was a vital member of celebrated Scottish folk group Battlefield Band from 1969 till 2010. He helped cement the band’s international reputation with his story-style songwriting and sensitive renditions of traditional song. Reid has gained a reputation for songs strong in melody and historical content. Rob Van Sante has been steeped in music from an early age — his mother was a piano playing child prodigy. Guitar has always been Van Sante’s favored instrument. He was initially attracted to rock and blues as a teenager, but it was in England that he discovered a love of folk music. Rob is well known in the English folk scene, playing with a host of folk luminaries and recording many of them in his home studio. For more, Och over to:

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.